2016 Safest Places in Georgia

by Susan Gulliford

Over 10 million people call Georgia home and they all want a safe place to live and work. The ValuePenguin team analyzed 99 cities with populations of more than 5,000 to determine the safest cities in the Peach State. The crime scores ranged from 413 to 8,227.

The takeaway from this research was that there was no typical safe city in Georgia. Large, mid-size, and small cities all made the top five. Some of the safest cities had affluent, highly-educated populations and others were more middle-class. For more details, you can review the report here.

5 Safest Places in Georgia

These cities had an average crime score of 470, which was 83% lower than their typical peer in the state. With some of its lowest total violent crime rates, these five are the safest places in the state.

1. Johns Creek

With a population of over 84,000, Johns Creek is the largest city in the top five. It is a suburb northeast of Atlanta. In addition to its low rate of violent crime, Johns Creek had the lowest rate of property crime. This city is very affluent with a median household income more than double the median for Georgia and a very low rate of poverty.

2. Grovetown

The safest city in the mid-size category is the second safest overall. Grovetown had the fifth-lowest rate of violent crime and the second-lowest rate of property crime of any city. The police department has programs such as a house watches for when residents are away from home to keep crime low. Grovetown is a middle-class community with a median household income slightly above the median for Georgia and is located approximately 12 miles from Augusta, Ga.

3. Flowery Branch

The smallest city in this research comes in at third. It is a middle-class community with a median household income of $62,863 and is situated 14 minutes from Gainesville, Ga. Flowery Branch had zero violent crimes reported in 2014 and the fifth-lowest rate of property crime.

4. Milton

Milton (population of 36,702) is the second "large" city in the top five. The 39 police officers in Milton work hard to keep crime low. It had the second-lowest rate of violent crime in addition to a low rate of violent crime. This community is very affluent with a median household income 2.2 times the median for the state of Georgia.

5. Tyrone

This small town with a population of approximately 7,000 is 25 miles south of Atlanta. The city had the third-lowest rate of violent crime for 2014. The city has a median household income and homeownership rate above the averages for Georgia .

Population Breakdown

Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 5,000 and 10,000, midsize cities with populations between 10,000 and 25,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 25,000. Here are our findings:

Safest Places in Georgia

Full List of Places in Georgia

Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Georgia” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.

RankCityCrime Score

1

Johns Creek413

2

Grovetown437

3

Flowery Branch461

4

Milton489

5

Tyrone553

6

Peachtree City627

7

Braselton701

8

Holly Springs870

9

Auburn894

10

Folkston898

11

Jefferson900

12

Kennesaw913

13

Loganville1,004

14

Port Wentworth1,054

15

Commerce1,054

16

Alpharetta1,064

17

Duluth1,090

18

McRae1,098

19

Canton1,161

20

Roswell1,164

21

Suwanee1,241

22

Woodstock1,246

23

Bremen1,412

24

Fayetteville1,463

25

Dallas1,482

26

Acworth1,537

27

Pooler1,558

28

Decatur1,581

29

Sandy Springs1,672

30

Camilla1,783

31

Kingsland1,816

32

Snellville1,837

33

Brookhaven1,896

34

Smyrna1,905

35

Cairo1,939

36

McDonough1,987

37

Adel2,040

38

Statesboro2,089

39

Dalton2,166

40

Milledgeville2,174

41

Winder2,178

42

Fairburn2,201

43

Athens-Clarke County2,209

44

Newnan2,209

45

Lafayette2,240

46

Calhoun2,344

47

Dunwoody2,362

48

Gainesville2,554

49

Thomaston2,602

50

Villa Rica2,626

51

Norcross2,686

52

Centerville2,717

53

Eatonton2,718

54

Hinesville2,726

55

Swainsboro2,741

56

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan2,774

57

Cumming2,782

58

Lilburn2,784

59

Locust Grove2,851

60

Carrollton2,860

61

Toccoa2,937

62

Sandersville2,942

63

Marietta3,095

64

Riverdale3,211

65

Fitzgerald3,232

66

Dublin3,252

67

LaGrange3,314

68

Valdosta3,366

69

Forest Park3,415

70

Powder Springs3,436

71

Conyers3,466

72

Thomasville3,498

73

Cordele3,499

74

Fort Valley3,550

75

Covington3,617

76

Waynesboro3,653

77

Moultrie3,656

78

Waycross3,729

79

Warner Robins3,868

80

Douglasville3,928

81

Vidalia3,991

82

Tifton4,058

83

Fort Oglethorpe4,109

84

Hapeville4,207

85

Jesup4,238

86

Eastman4,442

87

Columbus4,572

88

Chamblee4,658

89

Albany4,694

90

Griffin4,877

91

Morrow4,984

92

Garden City5,061

93

Douglas5,258

94

Americus5,340

95

Brunswick5,551

96

Union City5,830

97

Atlanta6,029

98

East Point7,115

99

College Park8,227

Year-over-year Change

There was a great deal of consistency from 2015 to 2016. Four of the five safest places this year were in the top five for 2015. Johns Creek moved up from number two last year to claim the top spot for 2016. Milton and Flowery Branch switched spots while Tyrone held steady as the fifth-safest place in both years.

Grovetown, which broke into the top five this year, was the safest mid-sized city for two years in a row. Its presence meant that every size category had one representative in the top five. Seven of the ten safest mid-sized cities from 2015 made it into the top ten for 2016.

Johns Creek was the safest large city for two years in a row. In fact, the exact same big cities comprised the top five for 2015 and 2016. The large cities category had the most consistency with nine out of ten cities from the 2015 list repeating in 2016.

Safest Places in Georgia

Methodology

To rank these places, we collected data from the 2014 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 5,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.

We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 80% and property crime at 20%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores.

Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!

Rank

CityPopulationViolent Crime per 100KProperty Crime per 100KCrime Score

26

Acworth21,7271842,8081,537

37

Adel5,3133584,0472,040

89

Albany75,8581,0225,5314,694

16

Alpharetta63,478601,9751,064

94

Americus16,2001,1737,9945,340

43

Athens-Clarke County121,5113063,1212,209

97

Atlanta454,3631,2275,7476,029

9

Auburn7,2022221,430894

7

Braselton8,1421111,351701

23

Bremen6,2942702,6371,412

33

Brookhaven50,9423452,6461,896

95

Brunswick15,9121,4147,5545,551

35

Cairo9,8452743,7581,939

46

Calhoun15,9562264,6752,344

30

Camilla5,0702563,7871,783

19

Canton24,4491432,0741,161

60

Carrollton25,3154354,7562,860

52

Centerville7,6632486,0032,717

88

Chamblee16,0531,0716,7904,658

99

College Park14,7802,15211,1238,227

87

Columbus206,7145336,4724,572

15

Commerce6,5532441,7851,054

71

Conyers15,7136755,5623,466

73

Cordele11,2026346,1063,499

75

Covington13,5354736,8643,617

57

Cumming5,6521066,9892,782

25

Dallas12,6211902,8521,482

39

Dalton33,4642693,7112,166

28

Decatur20,2411483,0781,581

93

Douglas11,9249069,2755,258

80

Douglasville32,1125796,3993,928

66

Dublin16,4235425,5473,252

17

Duluth28,849942,0691,090

47

Dunwoody47,9151214,5622,362

98

East Point35,9291,29110,4547,115

86

Eastman5,3849298,1914,442

53

Eatonton6,5428103,8832,718

42

Fairburn13,8513753,8122,201

24

Fayetteville16,4241642,8131,463

65

Fitzgerald9,0734966,1833,232

3

Flowery Branch6,259-1,214461

10

Folkston5,6413191,117898

69

Forest Park18,8556155,5263,415

83

Fort Oglethorpe9,5734708,4404,109

74

Fort Valley8,9251,2214,1013,550

48

Gainesville35,9673644,1482,554

92

Garden City8,9311,7365,8675,061

90

Griffin23,2791,1256,6674,877

2

Grovetown12,67632939437

84

Hapeville6,7559037,3724,207

54

Hinesville34,5254694,1302,726

8

Holly Springs9,9251011,773870

11

Jefferson9,8021531,643900

85

Jesup10,3237467,5754,238

1

Johns Creek84,25633705413

12

Kennesaw32,4291141,566913

31

Kingsland16,3093312,9861,816

45

Lafayette7,0621985,0272,240

67

LaGrange30,6794045,7693,314

58

Lilburn12,6103175,5192,784

59

Locust Grove5,7043166,3292,851

13

Loganville10,898642,2301,004

63

Marietta59,6635084,4483,095

36

McDonough23,0012353,6171,987

18

McRae6,1413911,3351,098

40

Milledgeville19,5193333,7352,174

4

Milton36,70219994489

91

Morrow6,74540011,4164,984

77

Moultrie14,6914976,7863,656

44

Newnan35,2324832,9292,209

51

Norcross16,3635874,0272,686

6

Peachtree City34,989291,266627

27

Pooler21,7071842,8561,558

14

Port Wentworth6,8402921,5791,054

70

Powder Springs14,5249714,3723,436

64

Riverdale15,6074425,8883,211

20

Roswell95,3871151,8761,164

62

Sandersville5,8226535,2042,942

29

Sandy Springs101,1841572,7131,672

56

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan236,6823923,5942,774

34

Smyrna53,9652872,8761,905

32

Snellville19,4801753,5831,837

38

Statesboro30,2982713,5782,089

21

Suwanee18,313932,5391,241

55

Swainsboro7,6345115,0172,741

49

Thomaston9,0664414,8092,602

72

Thomasville18,7523896,6293,498

82

Tifton16,4147926,4584,058

61

Toccoa8,3465035,4762,937

5

Tyrone7,107281,323553

96

Union City20,6911,2718,4245,830

68

Valdosta56,8623245,7843,366

81

Vidalia10,7247746,8073,991

50

Villa Rica14,5703434,9352,626

79

Warner Robins73,4184476,1623,868

78

Waycross14,1494667,1173,729

76

Waynesboro5,7899855,7703,653

41

Winder14,7992774,1152,178

22

Woodstock27,6651162,3421,246

Comments and Questions